Met Police look to Twitter to manage protests

Police on Twitter

The Metropolitan Police are turning to Twitter to help handle protests surrounding a climate change camp in London.

Earlier this summer, police forces were criticised for how they handled G20 protests, while media noted the heavy use of Twitter by protesters to organise events.

Now, the police are turning to Twitter to help communicate with the Camp for Climate Action that kicks off on 26 August in the capital.

The feed will be run by the public affairs department, and include operational updates, information from emergency services, and crime prevention advice.

But don't think the police will be signing up to follow your feed to hear about what you had for lunch. The Met Police said that they won't reply to replies and direct messages, and won't be automatically following anyone else's feed.

"This is to discourage the use of direct messaging, avoid resource wasting spam handling and so that you can easily identify other key Twitter users we think are relevant to our work in who we follow," the police force said in a statement on its website. "Being followed by us does not imply endorsement of any kind."

After several high-profile outages, the Met Police felt it necessary to note that it's not its fault if the feed is down from time to time. "Twitter may occasionally be unavailable and we accept no responsibility for lack of service due to Twitter downtime," the statement said.

The Met Police feed is available here, and while you're at it, you can follow IT PRO on Twitter here.